Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday December 13th 2010 - Bedtime Meditation

One of the audio files made available from the Gabriel Method is a bedtime meditation. I loaded it up onto my iPod and listen to it as I take my final bow for the night. Jon Gabriel speaks about relaxing and visualizing the next day's schedule and goals with positive reinforcements. The track is 22 minutes, but I have only made it through the first few minutes. Maybe 5 minutes if I'm anxious, but after that I am 'a snoozen.

I think I am able to be hypnotized easily is because I have a fairly deep focus. I really concentrate on the suggestions because I want it to work. If you felt uncomfortable or didn't want to be hypnotized I doubt that you would be able to relax enough. The meditation/hypnosis, whether in Paula's office or from the cd's, make me feel good. I awake with a positive attitude and my cravings for fatty foods have gone down dramatically.

I am easing into this struggle with realistic expectations. It has taken 45 years to build up all of these root cause issues. I doubt that they will go away overnight.

Maybe I wrote about this, but I have realized that there are some key issues that make me fat:

  • When I was in football in the sixth grade I got pushed around and beat up from practice and games. I desperately wanted to be bigger for survival purposes. The desire to be "football" large continued for three more years.
  • I was very sensitive to adult comments like my step-dad insisting that I had a Ubangi Butt (his way of saying I had a big butt). However, he started telling me this when I was very young and still as skinny as a lamp post. In addition, my loving aunts teased me about "filling" out. I was skinny until I got married at age 19. All of these comments were without merit, but they became very powerful negative reinforcements.
  • My uncle committed suicide when I was 14? I never thought it bothered me, but I found out through talking to Paula that it did have a huge impact on my young life.
  • I had a horrible diet when I started working at the warehouses. I over ate with the other warehouse workers and then go days without sleep and proper nutrition. I think the years of abuse messed up my metabolism.
  • I was heavy before my dad committed suicide in '93, but I really started to pack it on after that.
  • In 1998 to 2001 I presided over a dot com that I had co-founded. It couldn't have been more stressful. In 2001 we had grown to the point where we needed venture capital to continue and I lost my best presentation. The company went under and I had a major bipolar episode that landed me in the hospital(s).
  • After that I worried about survival more than I did food so I just ate everything until I was full. On top of that I was taking bipolar meds like Depekote that makes it incredibly difficult to lose weight. I also had a bout with rashes that required steroids which also made me gain weight.
  • Up to the point I had tried every fad diet under the sun. I had lost weight just to see it come back with reinforcements. 
  • Then I was told that I was sick with everything plus Leukemia. I started ballooning and then went into the hospital and just stopped eating. I starved myself for several months and lost 60 pounds or so.
  • Then I started gaining it all back plus reinforcements.
No one wants to be fat. It just happens. You let your guard down and gain tons of weight and then fight and starve to lose the weight. My body is programmed to be fat. I am now trying these alternative therapies to re-program myself to be normal. It may take a while to see the results, but I know that solving the root causes of my obesity is the key. If I can control my mind and body, I will lose the weight and keep it off.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9th 2010 - Feeling pretty good

A major element of the Gabriel Method combined with Paula Robbins' hypnotherapy is the feeling of contentment with the stress of everyday life. The idea is to reduce or eliminate the emotional scaring and reoccurring issues that block weight loss. Through this process I have realized that I have a lot more prior life issues to deal with and I realized I like being big.

I think its a mechanism of protection. I, admittingly, have a soft heart and I get my feelings hurt even if I don't show it. I am also afraid of being picked on. When I was young I think friends and strangers liked to pick on me because I like to talk about my victories and share the excitement of life which they interpret as boosting or ego. Some of that may be true, but I like to be on the positive side because the alternative is being a vessel of negativity. Who wants that?

Anyway, I realized that when I work out I try to build up not trim down. It's the same with fat. I am fat so I am bigger and people don't pick on me. The bad side is that people treat fat people like they choose to be fat. Seriously? My subconscious has directed my body to protect me in the only way it knows how... by helping me be big by turning my fat receptors on. The subconscious mind also protects me from losing weight. That's why diets only work for a while and then your body turns on its fat protectionism and retains calories and white fat that is usually burnt off by skinny people.

I have been working on my fears with the therapist and working on my positive vision of health through the teachings of Jon Gabriel and I can feel it working. I tried the sleep meditation tape last night and feel into a deep hypnotic state. When the 22 minutes that felt like 5 minutes finished I rolled over and had a great night's sleep. The power of hypnotic suggestion is trying to allow me to think thin and feel safe enough to let go of the weight. The multi facaded therapy has helped me stop over-eating and late night snacks. I have a lot of work to be done, but I already feel more control over my eating. I'm still eating and I am not restricting or causing my body to lack, but I am not over-eating because I just don't have that desire; that craving. I like this new program. Deal with the cause not, the result and then the weight magically sheds. I have already lost two inches on my waist. Nice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday December 7th 2010 - Bipolar type II ?

Someone asked me if I was bipolar I or bipolar II. There are a bijillion different types of bipolar. It's not as simple as type I or II diabetes. I guess the difference is whether you get depressed more than you get manic. In that case it is simple. I am manic-manic. 

I get angry. I get frustrated. I have down time, but, for the most part, I am this: Manic. I enjoy manic like some people enjoy breathing. I like thinking big and multitasking. I like over achieving. However, I am probably difficult to live with. 

No. I am difficult to live with. I run at full speed for 16 hours a day and move smoothly from one project to the next. The busier I am the better. When I am not busy I start to get upset or over thinking things. I am over-barring in the sense that expect others to work as hard as I do. I am not over barring in terms of controlling who they hang out with or date or how they dress. 

I just want them to commit to something, anything, and give it 100%. Yuck. I am over barring. I'm like a bear. Don't poke the bear. I can be a grizzly bear or a cuddly bear. To most people I am a teddy bear. My boys might have a different interpretation. 

As you might be able to tell, I had an altercation with my son regarding make-up homework. After a difficult evening, we have come to a truce. We have a new policy regarding D's and he pledges to not fall behind. If he falls behind, I confiscate his phone, iPod, and computer. Sounds strict, but there is a history of untruthfulness that has degenerated the situation. I wish I could be the buddy; the friend, the cool dad, but I am the father... damn it.

I went to the hypno-therapist today and I didn't think she would be able to get me under. It took awhile, but near the end I had successfully gone way too far under. I tend to concentrate on the goal of relaxing so hard that once I achieve it I go too far. Funny huh. I think we may have worked on enough of my issues that the next time we can talk about losing weight.

In the mean time, I am listening to and reading the Gabriel Method. He really does make a lot of sense and I know understand why I have failed at holding off weight. My big lesson today was about "Lacking." For example, if you deny chocolate and your body know that you are denying something on purpose it thinks that you are about to deny more (ie: famine) and it kicks into defensive mode. The idea is to feed your body what it needs within reason and eat as healthy as possible while offering your body the things that it needs like probiotics for digestion and Omega 3's. Do not diet. Make you body believe that it is safe and okay to lose weight. Be in touch with your bodies needs and eat properly. I'm being repetitive. I'm tired. I need to read for an hour and then sleep. The therapist is giving me a hard time because I only want to sleep for six hours. You lose more fat when you sleep. That's a fact. Since I have a lot of fat to give, I should be sleeping about 14 hours a day. Ha! Just kidding. 7 hours is fine. So I am learning something new everyday and I already lost two inches and I haven't even started trying. Oh yeah. You have to eat at least six times a day and never ever let yourself get low blood sugar. Your body thinks it needs to conserve. Put down the keypad and walk awayyyy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday December 5th 2010 - My current weight loss strategy

I thought I would briefly update my current events and then explain the diet strategy that I am working on right now as well as describe my bipolar treatment.

Well, my son was released from the hospital yesterday morning, so we both got to sleep in our own beds. He looks about as swollen as he had the first day we noticed swelling which is a dramatic improvement. Now he is on 300 mg of clindamycin four times a day. Normally, that would be a monster dose for a 14 year old, but we need to completely eradicate the infection from his body.

Our household, in general, needs holiday cheer in a major way so I made an ambitious attempt at decorating our front yard. I must admit, it looks pretty nice and it seems to have had the desired effect. Today is the last regular season football game for my fantasy football team so I'll probably watch the Denver game and then the Colts game. I should finish in first place and then we have three playoff games. I hope to win it all because, as Vince Lombardi said, "if winning isn't everything, why do they keep score."

My current diet strategy revolves around reconciliation with the root cause of my weight gain and I don't mean deep fried Twinkies (although I have heard they are like sex). No, my weight is mostly in my head. It is my way of giving myself comfort when other things in life gets me down. It's about layer upon layers of emotional protection. When I get stressed I eat. When I give up on dieting or become depressed, I eat. And, of course, sometimes I over eat because the food is just so heavenly prepared. The fact that I am a fantastic cook is both a blessing and a curse. When I cook, I cook with passion and love... and butter.

Contrary to every diet I have ever tried, I am not as concerned with what I eat as much as I am concerned with over eating. But that too has a qualifier; the food must be freshly prepared or raw (vegetables and fruit, not meat). I am avoiding processed foods because they process and over cook the potential nutrients right out of the food. I am also concentrating on never letting my blood sugar get too low so I am going to concentrate on eating vegetables, fruit, and nuts for snacks. The idea is that I eat healthy and balance out my supplements. On top of the regular vitamins, I am taking digestive probiotics and Omega 3 in the form of Flax Seed Oil because I hate to burp after I have taken a fish oil capsule. I almost through up one time. Gross.

Healthy eating is paramount, but I have to get rid of all of this stored emotional crap so I'm seeing the hypnotherapist. Most of the appointments are regular old therapy which is great to identify issues and then we use hypnosis to allow me to let go of these issues or forgive people and myself. I've found out that I really do have a lot of baggage to clear before we can get into weight reducing hypnosis. I'm looking forward to reaching that part.

In concert with the hypnotherapy, I am following the Gabriel Method because he strives on healthy eating, proper body chemistry and emotional healing. Two favors: Use my affiliate links to visit the Gabriel site because I get paid (a little) and because you will quickly see why I am into this method right now. I really think this current approach could be the combination that I have been looking for.

Quick tip: Your body temperature is partially regulated by the good brown fat. Brown fat burns white fat to generate energy and heat. When you jump into a pool it feels cold for a while and then you get used to it. What is really happening is that the brown fat starts burning white fat to bring your cold resistance up. So here is the trick that I recently stumbled on. When you take your shower, run warm water to wash and then slowly start to cool off the water to the point where you are standing in a cold cold shower. If you do it gradually it won't shock you, but it will kick in the brown fat regulations. I haven't tried it yet, but I will later today and I'll let you know if it feels like a complete line of crap. Supposedly it makes you feel energized. We will see. 

My bipolar disorder is regulated with therapy and medication. Sorry people that don't believe in drug therapy. Bipolars NEED medication. When ever a bipolar hurts themselves or others it is usually because they decided they felt "cured" and went off of their medication. I never miss a dose. I take lorazapam, Lamictal, Hydroxyzine, and Seroquel. I also take synthroid for my hyperthyroid and supplements. As a matter of fact, it is time for my next dose. Good holidays and football to you! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday December 3rd 2010 - Hanging out in the hospital again

Actually, I'm not the patient. My youngest son complained about a sore jaw on Monday night and I gave him some Ibuprofen. He looked a little swollen, but nothing alarming. Then, on Tuesday morning the pain had increased and his right jaw was definitely swollen.

Thinking it was an abscessed tooth, I took him to my wife's office. The dentists and the doctor next door concluded that it was not dental related, rather, it had the earmarks of parotitsis. An hour later our old PCP confirmed and placed him on antibiotics.

Wednesday his jaw was so swollen I cursed myself for letting him sleep in without checking his swelling. Within a half hour we were in our current PCP office and he gave him a massive shot of antibiotics and added a more powerful antibiotic. By now his low grade fever and become a constant temp over 101 degrees.

On Thursday the swelling was extreme so I brought him to the ER and he has admitted into the hospital and that's where we remain right now. Today the IV antibiotics seem to have taken hold. We maybe able to go home Saturday or Sunday. My wife brought us both new clothes and shampoo. My son was freaked out about the extreme swelling so I haven't left. The room is nice and I have a fold out bed so all is fine, but I haven't had a laptop until today.

I was going to write about my interview with the museum. I had a perfect interview, but they gave it to someone else. It's frustrating to have the experience and education that everyone used to want and then be told you're over qualified. It's okay. I'm not upset, so I must have agreed with them that it wasn't the right job for me. Besides, I'm very busy with the columns and book and painting and the art business and... whew.

I was doing pretty good with the advice from the Gabriel Method, but then all hell let loose with this infection and I have eaten like crap. I hate hospital food, so I went out and got a sub from Quiznos and over ate and now I feel like a fat pumpkin.

And then, I forgot to bring my CPAP and I snored so loud I kept my son up. I also had stupidly only brought one day of bipolar meds and I didn't get this mornings dose until my wife brought it this evening. Most of the meds are fine to take late, but I get real edgy when I don't have my lorazapam. I took 2mg and now I feel okay.

So, while I have neglected to write on the blog, I received an email today that this blog is #17 out of the top 50 blogs covering the Global Obesity Epidemic. Now I feel guilty about not writing everyday, so here I am. Click here to see the award.